Author Topic: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show  (Read 46203 times)

Offline Eirchild

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2008, 01:20:16 PM »
Herbal blood stopping agents- Yarrow is a strong herb to stop bleeding, whether as the fresh or dried herb,a tea,or a tincture.  A midwife I know uses the tincture for when women start to bleed profusely after childbirth,since the tincture  is strong and easily administer by mouth and easily transported. This summer I took a permaculture design course,and one of my fellow students accidentally rammed a stick into his toe,and it bled profusely. Nearby yarrow plants were growing,and I got them, crushed up the leaves,and he applied it
to the toe.  within 20sec.,the bleeding stopped
   Shephards Purse can be used in a similar fashion

Offline flagtag

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2008, 06:14:42 PM »
There is a lot of good ideas posted already, but I will chime in anyway.  My training is in Wilderness First Resoponder which primarily focuses on multi use, making due with out and improvising.  Here are a few items for wound care that I didn't see posted.

Tampons:  for women and to stop pesky nose bleeds.  Might work for deep puncture wounds though I have never tried it.
Kotex pads:  again for women and excellent for slowing/stopping severe bleeding, like a trauma pad but multi use.
Coflex:  Stretchy Ace bandage like material that sticks to itself and NOT skin.  I use this stuff a lot!!  This also works better than ACE bandages for wrapping ankles.

Instead of carrying a SAM splint, you can use the pack stays from an internal frame backpack.  Most of my packs I am able to remove the stays with out damaging the pack.  It seems they are meant to be taken out.

Has anyone heard of Bag Balm?  This stuff is awesome for wound care.  It was developed for chapped cow udders over 100 years ago.  My parents used it on us all the time for cuts and abrasions.

Wal-Mart sells a lot of Bag Balm.  I can be used for so many things.  (diaper rash, chapped skin, cracked skin due to winter conditions, sunburn, etc. )

Offline flagtag

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2008, 06:17:36 PM »
+1 on Super Glue!

It can be put to use for applications other than first aid, too.


Liquid hand sanitizer bottle, alcoholic. Keeps your hands clean (and can be used as a last ditch pain killer... ;)). Also a great help with starting fires in damp weather.

As you can tell, redundancy is important to me... :D

You can also find Super Glue in the Cosmetics Dept. at Wal-Mart.

Offline firetoad

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2008, 06:40:15 PM »
There is a lot of good ideas posted already, but I will chime in anyway.  My training is in Wilderness First Resoponder which primarily focuses on multi use, making due with out and improvising.  Here are a few items for wound care that I didn't see posted.

Tampons:  for women and to stop pesky nose bleeds.  Might work for deep puncture wounds though I have never tried it.
Kotex pads:  again for women and excellent for slowing/stopping severe bleeding, like a trauma pad but multi use.
Coflex:  Stretchy Ace bandage like material that sticks to itself and NOT skin.  I use this stuff a lot!!  This also works better than ACE bandages for wrapping ankles.

Instead of carrying a SAM splint, you can use the pack stays from an internal frame backpack.  Most of my packs I am able to remove the stays with out damaging the pack.  It seems they are meant to be taken out.

Has anyone heard of Bag Balm?  This stuff is awesome for wound care.  It was developed for chapped cow udders over 100 years ago.  My parents used it on us all the time for cuts and abrasions.

Wal-Mart sells a lot of Bag Balm.  I can be used for so many things.  (diaper rash, chapped skin, cracked skin due to winter conditions, sunburn, etc. )

I will third what Nate and flagtag mention about Bag Balm.  I haven't even thought about this in quite a while!  My mother used Bag Balm on just about anything we had growing up.  Definitely a must have for the survivalist's pantry!

Offline Beetle

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2008, 09:20:35 AM »
Does anyone have a good link to buy a pre-made first aid kit? I was looking for something higher end...

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2008, 06:07:02 PM »
There is a lot of good ideas posted already, but I will chime in anyway.  My training is in Wilderness First Resoponder which primarily focuses on multi use, making due with out and improvising.  Here are a few items for wound care that I didn't see posted.

Tampons:  for women and to stop pesky nose bleeds.  Might work for deep puncture wounds though I have never tried it.
Kotex pads:  again for women and excellent for slowing/stopping severe bleeding, like a trauma pad but multi use.
Coflex:  Stretchy Ace bandage like material that sticks to itself and NOT skin.  I use this stuff a lot!!  This also works better than ACE bandages for wrapping ankles.

Instead of carrying a SAM splint, you can use the pack stays from an internal frame backpack.  Most of my packs I am able to remove the stays with out damaging the pack.  It seems they are meant to be taken out.

Has anyone heard of Bag Balm?  This stuff is awesome for wound care.  It was developed for chapped cow udders over 100 years ago.  My parents used it on us all the time for cuts and abrasions.

Wal-Mart sells a lot of Bag Balm.  I can be used for so many things.  (diaper rash, chapped skin, cracked skin due to winter conditions, sunburn, etc. )

I just handed a buddy at work my tin of bag balm from my Get Home Bag. He said, I didn't know this stuff came in black spray-painted altoid tins.

Great stuff for this changing weather, bag balm.

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2009, 06:23:22 PM »
Definitely would include pliers to be able to snip fish hooks or other items that may puncture.

Also forceps, scissors etc.. probably mentioned above but didn't see it.

How about a battery operated soldering iron to cauterize a wound if needed.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2009, 10:36:18 AM »
Definitely would include pliers to be able to snip fish hooks or other items that may puncture.

Also forceps, scissors etc.. probably mentioned above but didn't see it.

How about a battery operated soldering iron to cauterize a wound if needed.

I didn't even think of the plier idea, Great idea!!!!   +1 for that.

Offline gpd240

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2009, 09:08:55 AM »
Just a note on any suture. First, Make sure this is the last option before trying.  Second Although I have not sutured a wound myself, or had the training. I have watched many doctors do it in the ER. Sometimes with a numbing agent and sometimes without (that's usually the unruly drunk who like to argue with the Doc, Nurse or the cop who brought them in.) Make sure you leave an opening at the bottom of the sutures to allow for drainage. Being that you are probably only going to do this in extreme situations, you won't have the proper cleaning agents and you will probably develop an infection.

Offline Nate

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2009, 01:54:33 PM »
We learned in my recent WFR course to avoid closing any wound in the field.  The wound needs to drain properly to avoid infection.  Most suturing and butterfly closures are mostly to avoid big nasty looking scars,  (Correct me if I am wrong), unless of course you just performed major surgery like pancreas removal.  Besides, chicks dig scars.  When someone asks be about some of my scars, I say knife fight.  That's a sexier story than explaining what really happened!   ;)

As for the soldering iron, I doubt that would do any good.  I believe the first rule of medicine is "Do No Harm."  You are better off stopping bleeding with well aimed direct pressure or a tourniquet.  Tourniquets are now back in vogue, especially in war zones.  Using the soldering iron would burn the surrounding flesh causing further injury.  Not only do you have a gaping wound, you now have severe burns to deal with.  Not cool.  My thoughts only.

Offline Hraz

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2009, 02:07:28 PM »
Quote
Forgot this...The nurse freind suggested Hydrogen Peroxide or Betadine over alcohol.

I would go with the Betadine or a no frills brand of 10% povidone-iodine as well. My freind's son received a flu shot. When he got home, his kid's arm was all swollen. They took him to the emergency room and eventually determined that a flesh eating bacteria must have been on his skin when he received the flu shot. The doctor who gave the flu shot wiped his arm down with alcohol. My freind found out that is a no no. They shot his son up with anti-biotics and sent them to a local childrens hospital. My friend didn't know it at the time, but the children's hospital was preparing to remove his son's arm in case the anti-biotics didn't work. Fortunately they did. Now when I receive a shot, I make sure they use iodine, not alcohol.

Does anyone know the shelf life of Betadine/10% povidone-iodine?

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2009, 02:53:34 PM »
Quote
Forgot this...The nurse freind suggested Hydrogen Peroxide or Betadine over alcohol.

I would go with the Betadine or a no frills brand of 10% povidone-iodine as well. My freind's son received a flu shot. When he got home, his kid's arm was all swollen. They took him to the emergency room and eventually determined that a flesh eating bacteria must have been on his skin when he received the flu shot. The doctor who gave the flu shot wiped his arm down with alcohol. My freind found out that is a no no. They shot his son up with anti-biotics and sent them to a local childrens hospital. My friend didn't know it at the time, but the children's hospital was preparing to remove his son's arm in case the anti-biotics didn't work. Fortunately they did. Now when I receive a shot, I make sure they use iodine, not alcohol.

Does anyone know the shelf life of Betadine/10% povidone-iodine?

Never heard of that.  But don't doubt it could happen it's MRSA and is very prevalent in healthcare.   Necrotizing fasciitis sucks, we see it in our hospital every now and then and man it is nasty.   We had a pt get it in his jaw from a dentist visit and he looked like he was out of a horror flick with  half his mandible remove and suture going from both cheeks to his collar bones to prevent any movement.  We use alcohol wipes for every thing from drawing blood to wiping IV ports.   Alcohol is not good for cleaning wounds.  Sterile water is best for open wounds.

Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2009, 09:51:01 PM »
I second the whole stay away from suturing in the field... not a good idea.

a good alternative for back woods infection prevention is sugar and honey. here's an article I wrote for a magazine FWIW... http://thehanddrill.com/sweetblood.html

andymedic

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2009, 06:22:28 PM »
Excellent thread so far, I am a working paramedic and some simple ways to build a good first aid kit is start the same as your storage. Band-aids and triple antibiotic ointment, then 2x2s sterile and individually wrapped, next month a box of 4x4s and couple rolls of tape. next week/month a box of 5x9s and or something bigger. 4" and 6" or 8" ace wrap, remember the direct pressure how about a couple of 2x2 or 4x4 then wrap twice with ace bleeds through add 4x4 and wrap again. then get the aspirin and other pain meds you need. The next thing is to get 3 months per-scription meds. this is sometimes hard to do but talk with your doctor about this. After this you should seek training before trying to suture or staple a laceration in the field, if this is done wrong you can cause irreparable damage.

Remember above all else DO NO HARM. ;D

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2009, 12:31:53 AM »
I replaced all ace wraps with Vet Wrap.  Our Army veterinarians used them on our military working dogs and I immediately saw how practical they are for human use.  No tape or fasteners needed.  Not sure if their used much in standard kits, just know that it is all I use.   For what it's worth. 

BP

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2009, 04:01:36 AM »
I replaced all ace wraps with Vet Wrap.  Our Army veterinarians used them on our military working dogs and I immediately saw how practical they are for human use.  No tape or fasteners needed.  Not sure if their used much in standard kits, just know that it is all I use.   For what it's worth. 

BP

The human equiivilant is coban self adhering wrap.  (I think)   Very good product because it doesn't need any clips.  My wife uses it at work for wound care.

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2009, 12:20:50 PM »
I replaced all ace wraps with Vet Wrap.  Our Army veterinarians used them on our military working dogs and I immediately saw how practical they are for human use.  No tape or fasteners needed.  Not sure if their used much in standard kits, just know that it is all I use.   For what it's worth. 

BP

The human equiivilant is coban self adhering wrap.  (I think)   Very good product because it doesn't need any clips.  My wife uses it at work for wound care.

Good to know 19kilo!  Haven't dealt with the kit in a very long time and seems know would be a good time to inventory and update.  Also getting EMT-1 certified next month.  Good skill to have......

BP

Offline Nate

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2009, 05:23:49 PM »
Vet wrap or coban...that stuff is awesome!  I use it for almost everything when I lead wilderness trips.  Good for wrapping an ankle or bandaging wounds with some gauze.  I especially like its ability to stay on when wet.  Definitely add some to any kit!  If you have kids, they might like the kind that has dinosaurs on it or crazy colored kinds.

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2009, 06:18:00 PM »
Vet wrap or coban...that stuff is awesome!  I use it for almost everything when I lead wilderness trips.  Good for wrapping an ankle or bandaging wounds with some gauze.  I especially like its ability to stay on when wet.  Definitely add some to any kit!  If you have kids, they might like the kind that has dinosaurs on it or crazy colored kinds.

Figured if it worked on dogs, it'd work on just about anything! 

BP

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2009, 02:28:37 AM »
Hrmm... :-/

I would really stick to superglue/steristrips for wound fastening rather than sutures. Irrigation with saline is almost always adequate - no alcohol or betadine required, and no lidocaine ampules to break, weigh you down, or expire.

Starting IV's on sick people is an entirely different game than starting them on well people. Veins collapse in hypovolemia, and become difficult to find in the chronically ill. You gotta start hundreds of IV's on a variety of differently aged people to even start to get good. After that it takes regular practice. If you do find a vein and make it past all the valves, athersclerosis, and little things that screw up your start, then you have to have the training to monitor your IV for infiltration, infection, your patient for fluid overload, and be able to troubleshoot why the damn thing inevitably won't flow right.

K.I.S.S. and just don't bother with IV's.

Offline docred

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2009, 05:57:33 PM »
Hey Jack and everybody. I am an emergency medicine resident in Philadelphia. Past lives I have been a paramedic, search and rescue person, and Eagle Scout. Also have a ham license, but am off the air with city apartment living. Big fan of the podcast, got turned on to it by a med school buddy who is a prepper and is a pulmonary / critical care fellow in SC.

I want to preface everything I say here with a caveat that I am not your doctor, and my participation in this discussion is not medical advice to anyone.

I would encourage anyone interested enough in preparation that you are reading this to seek out further training, and an opportunity to put that training to use and get some experience. I would also encourage everyone to read some books appropriate to your knowledge level.

A great recurring theme is that supplies and equipment are good, but far inferior to knowledge. I wouldn't waste my space or money on anything I did not know how to use. Some of the medical suggestions and ideas I have seen on the forum would be pretty dangerous.

If you like Jack's idea of rational preparation, you're first medical prep might be an annual visit with your primary care doctor. If you are reading this in the US, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and hypertension are the more present threat right now than zombie bikers, pandemic flu, nuclear war, etc. As Jack might say, the personal disaster (heart attack, etc) is more likely and easier to prepare for than the national disaster (pandemic flu).

That being said, medical training and building a relationship with your physician are not our purpose here. We want to talk about first aid kits.

I have two LARGE kits, both set up differently. If there is interest I could break them down for pictures. I have no hydrogen perioxide. I have no alcohol solution. I have some alcohol pads for IV starts, although CHG is probably better. I do have suturing material, lidocaine, saline and betadine, but I also know how, when and when not to use these things.

Most of the textbooks talk about copious irrigation with sterile normal saline under pressure as the mainstay of wound cleansing. In the ER we use often a 30-60cc syringe.The Wilderness texts suggest the cleanest water you have and using that in a clean ziplock bag in place of a syringe .

Bacitracin ointment is preferred but most physicians over triple antibiotic (trade name, Neosporin, others). Triple ointment tends to cause a lot of allergic dermatitis with continued use, without any gain in performance I am aware of. It is available in both multiuse tubes and single dose foil packs over the counter online and most drug stores.

CPR saves lives. You may feel better giving CPR if you have a facemask for that purpose. If you have the financial means and have family with cardiac disease, a AED might be a reasonable thing to have.

I had read a suggestion about 2 pairs of gloves. How about a whole box? Think about transitioning from handling a wound and then your supplies and then the wound and then your phone and so forth. Synthetic vinyl or nitrile gloves will not provoke latex allergies. Nitrile gloves provide some limited resistance against some chemicals. I wear them when I clean guns and toilets.

Most of the things in a first aid kit are subject to deterioration from time or heat. I had a great kit I put together after EMT class and it sat in the back of my truck for a couple years in the heat and cold. Everything in it was pretty much toast. I now only carry a FAK when I road trip through rural areas with long EMS response times. 

Many states have made keeping medication in an unapproved container illegal. Aspirin is a potent blood thinner and the effects linger for days.

2" medical tape sticks better than 1" and can be torn in half. I like the silk type or the transpore best, personally.

I have seen some pretty slick immobilizations done with a SAM splint. I own a couple.

There is a pretty good threat going about rehydration solutions, elsewhere in this section.

Foot care is a big issue if you plan to be hiking, especially with a pack, for any distance.

Keeping your hands clean will prevent spread of disease in any situation. Sanitizing gels are great. They only work when hands are free of visible dirt, blood, etc.

Good luck.


Offline 19kilo

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2009, 01:31:45 AM »
Awesome!  welcome to the forums Doc.

You will be very useful for brain picking for matters in the medical field.  Your not at Hahnemann are you?

Offline docred

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2009, 01:58:15 AM »
Nope not at HUH. While i would rather not say what hospital I am at publicly (if you really want to know, pm me), I am on the north side of town.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2009, 02:07:41 AM »
Nope not at HUH. While i would rather not say what hospital I am at publicly (if you really want to know, pm me), I am on the north side of town.

Understood.  work with a guy who is a huge fan of that place.  He went to school there for Respiratory and know the staff well.  ( he was there in the seventies.)

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2009, 01:07:37 PM »
I didn't recall seeing these OTC medications on anyone's lists:

Immodium (loperamide) for diarrhea.
Zofran (ondansetron) for nausea/vomiting. We use this miracle drug on the ambulance, and it's now available OTC.
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for allergic reactions.


I saw another post suggesting using internal frame pack supports for splinting materials. Let me assure you that I have tried this and it works POORLY. The little frame strips do a horrible job at immobilizing bones and joints. Removal of the supports also causes the pack to become so uncomfortable it's almost unwearable.

SAM splint is a made in USA product with a proven track record. We use them in the hospital and in the ambulance. They're lightweight, and they don't get soggy like cardboard. You can bend/cut them to any shape and secure them in place with a roller gauze. My patients report significant pain relief after splinting their injured limbs with a SAM splint.

Celox is another SAM product which we carry on our rigs. It may be worth mentioning for a first aid kit.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #55 on: March 03, 2009, 01:57:44 AM »
You guys use Celox on an ambulance?  How far out do you guys go?  And what scenarios would you use it?  I would think that it was used for when you are out of immediate reach of a trauma center and the Pt is going to bleed out.  I don't think our paramedics here in Erie carry it but I will ask.  Have you used it on a Pt?  If you did, how did it turn out?

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2009, 11:05:23 AM »
You guys use Celox on an ambulance?  How far out do you guys go?  And what scenarios would you use it?  I would think that it was used for when you are out of immediate reach of a trauma center and the Pt is going to bleed out.  I don't think our paramedics here in Erie carry it but I will ask.  Have you used it on a Pt?  If you did, how did it turn out?

I work in a rural system on the Oregon Coast, but I believe even the busy systems in Portland are carrying a similar product too. I have not used it, and as far as I know there have been no confirmed cases of a blood clotting agent being used in a legitimate life threatening bleed in the US. It seems to be a product that everyone just carries for the hell of it. If anyone has heard of it being used on a legit life threatening bleed I would love to read about it, but so far all we've been able to find is a study done with sedated pigs, and a case review of a Navy Seal being stabbed in the hand (not a life threat).

When I attended a class on these products the doctors really didn't have much to say, other than "give it a try!" There's just not enough anecdotal information on blood clotting agents yet. There is another thread in this forum that talks about the military's clotting product, and how it's being pulled for further study.

The doctors I talked to also recommended celox be used on non-life threatening bleeds in some circumstances. For example, if I have a multi-systems trauma patient with a nasty scalp injury, and I have other things to attend to, I can throw the celox on the scalp so I can free up an extra set of hands that would otherwise be holding direct pressure all the way to the hospital.

Regardless, I still think it sounds like a good "for the hell of it" item to have in a survivalist's first aid kit. The packet is lightweight and doesn't take up much space. I plan on getting one for my personal kit soon.

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #57 on: March 03, 2009, 11:07:14 AM »
Herbal blood stopping agents- Yarrow is a strong herb to stop bleeding, whether as the fresh or dried herb,a tea,or a tincture.  A midwife I know uses the tincture for when women start to bleed profusely after childbirth,since the tincture  is strong and easily administer by mouth and easily transported. This summer I took a permaculture design course,and one of my fellow students accidentally rammed a stick into his toe,and it bled profusely. Nearby yarrow plants were growing,and I got them, crushed up the leaves,and he applied it
to the toe.  within 20sec.,the bleeding stopped
   Shephards Purse can be used in a similar fashion

I've used liptons teabags similarly. The astringent in the tea stops nose bleeds well.

I like to pack items with multiple uses.

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #58 on: March 03, 2009, 11:13:33 AM »
I would go with the Betadine or a no frills brand of 10% povidone-iodine as well. My freind's son received a flu shot. When he got home, his kid's arm was all swollen. They took him to the emergency room and eventually determined that a flesh eating bacteria must have been on his skin when he received the flu shot. The doctor who gave the flu shot wiped his arm down with alcohol. My freind found out that is a no no. They shot his son up with anti-biotics and sent them to a local childrens hospital. My friend didn't know it at the time, but the children's hospital was preparing to remove his son's arm in case the anti-biotics didn't work. Fortunately they did. Now when I receive a shot, I make sure they use iodine, not alcohol.

Does anyone know the shelf life of Betadine/10% povidone-iodine?

Are you kidding? More often than not all anyone uses to prep before starting IV's or giving shots is alcohol, and I've never heard of anyone losing an arm. So many people are allergic to iodine, plus you have to wait for it to dry before it actually kills the germs. It's just a waste of time. Shit, if you're that worried soap and water I'm sure would do a better job than iodine.

No matter, you shouldn't be giving medications parenterally unless you have the training anyway.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 11:19:27 AM by Asclepius »

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Help me assemble a first aid kit list for a new show
« Reply #59 on: March 03, 2009, 11:18:06 AM »
We learned in my recent WFR course to avoid closing any wound in the field.  The wound needs to drain properly to avoid infection.  Most suturing and butterfly closures are mostly to avoid big nasty looking scars,  (Correct me if I am wrong), unless of course you just performed major surgery like pancreas removal.  Besides, chicks dig scars.  When someone asks be about some of my scars, I say knife fight.  That's a sexier story than explaining what really happened!   ;)

As for the soldering iron, I doubt that would do any good.  I believe the first rule of medicine is "Do No Harm."  You are better off stopping bleeding with well aimed direct pressure or a tourniquet.  Tourniquets are now back in vogue, especially in war zones.  Using the soldering iron would burn the surrounding flesh causing further injury.  Not only do you have a gaping wound, you now have severe burns to deal with.  Not cool.  My thoughts only.

I think as long as you irrigate the hell out of a cut, you're good to close it up with superglue or whatever. For most people, the reaction is going to be to hold pressure and bandage it closed anyway. The rule usually is if it hasn't been closed after 8 hours, then leave it open.

You're right on with the soldering iron... first do no harm! Yikes!